What is your purpose in life? That’s a challenging question to ponder. As you reflect on your life purpose, you may appreciate reading quotes from famous people. Here are a few of my favorites on the purpose and meaning of life. Some of them are quite profound. See if there’s one that really resonates with you. It can help give you perspective and possibly clarify your own beliefs.
“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.” – William Jennings Bryan
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life and don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs
“I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter; to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” – Leo C. Rosten
“This is the true joy in life – being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Having a vision for your life allows you to live out of hope, rather than out of your fears.” – Stedman Graham
“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a unique calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service.” – Oprah Winfrey
“When you are living on purpose, giving of yourself in a blissful way, your personality will reflect that bliss.” – Wayne Dyer
“Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.” – Barbara Geraci
“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely. – Leo Buscaglia
“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
What is your favorite quote on life purpose? Please share with other readers.
The beginning of the year is an excellent time to step back and reflect, not only on the past year, but to reflect on your life. It’s a good time to reflect on your life purpose and how you’re living your life.
Start by reviewing your life purpose or vision statement. Your personal vision gives purpose and meaning to your life. It clarifies your values, and provides focus and direction. If you don’t already have a written personal vision statement, then set aside time to work on it. Finding Your Purpose and Passion in Life is a great resource, which walks you through the process of creating your personal vision statement. This workbook is available at www.YourLifeBalanceCoach.com/products.htm.
Review your personal vision to see if it still reflects your deepest values and priorities. Your personal vision encompasses: what you want to have in your life, what you want to do, and the person you want to be. Ask yourself these questions:
- What would I like to have during my lifetime? (Own my own home, vacation property, a boat, a retirement account, etc.)
- What would I like to do in the course of my lifetime? (Earn a Master’s degree, travel the world, volunteer in a homeless shelter, etc.)
- What kind of person do I want to be? (Kind, compassionate, hard-working, responsible, etc.)
In reviewing your answers to these questions, determine if there’s anything important missing from your vision statement. Do you need to add to or modify your personal vision? Make any edits as necessary.
As you review your personal vision, evaluate yourself. Ask yourself, “Am I living out my life purpose?” If not, are you striving toward it? Finally, consider what you can do this year to move toward your personal vision. Then set a goal or goals that align with your personal vision.
Taking time out to review your life purpose helps you stay focused on your personal vision so that you can live the life of your dreams!
Does your life lack meaning and direction? By defining your life purpose, you can gain clarity, focus, and direction in your life. Our purpose is our reason for being – it’s why we’re here on this earth. Each of us has a unique purpose in life. It’s up to us to uncover our purpose and fulfill it.
We all search for significance. We want to know that our life counts. We want to make a difference in this world. Each of us has been given different gifts, talents and skills that we can use for the good of others. If you use your talents to benefit others, and become the person you were intended to be, you will be blessed beyond all measure. Your life will take on meaning and significance. You will be fulfilled.
How do you identify your unique, life purpose? Follow this 5-step process.
1) Determine your values and priorities
What do you hold most dear to you? Your values are deeply held beliefs that govern and guide your behavior. Examples include honesty & integrity, faith, family, and love. They are what matter most to us, and are at the core of our being. They’re extremely important, because we make important decisions based upon values. Our behavior, decisions and actions flow from values. In order to uncover your values, just ask yourself, “What is most important to me?” and brainstorm a list.
2) Uncover your passions
What excites you? What brings you joy? Being out in nature, building things, caring for your children? Our passions are our desires or purposes that bring us joy. Passionate people have greater exuberance, zest and zeal for life. Passion gives us that internal fire to succeed. It acts as a motivating force to help us do truly great things.
How do you find your passion? Ask yourself, “What excites and energizes me?” “When does time seem to fly by? What am I typically doing?” and “What problem or issue was I born to address?”
3) Identify Your Contributions
The next step is to identify your interests, talents, gifts and potential contributions to society. What interests you? Think about which activities you most enjoy – in your personal life and your professional life. What sports or hobbies do you enjoy? What work activities do you most enjoy? Do you most enjoy working with people, things, ideas, or numbers and data?
What are your talents and skills? What do people say you’re good at? Has anyone said, “You’re a natural born leader, sales person, athlete (or something else)?”
Given your interests, talents, skills, and gifts, how can you contribute to others? In what small way can you make this world a better place? What difference can you make? Just think of the possibilities!
4) Describe Your Legacy
What kind of legacy do you want to leave? How do you want to be remembered? What qualities and characteristics will people remember you for? What outstanding accomplishments will you have made? Susan B. Anthony is known for having made strides in women’s rights. What difference can you make in the lives of others?
5) Put it all Together
Contemplate your life purpose. Take a look at your answers to the questions above and ask, “What does this reveal about me?” Ask yourself, “What is my purpose for being here on earth?” Take quiet time to reflect and listen.
By uncovering your life purpose, you will gain clarity, focus, and direction. Ultimately, it will give more meaning and significance to life.
For more in-depth information, review my workbook on “Finding Your Purpose and Passion in Life”.
Do you feel frazzled? Do you have too much to do and not enough time? Life is complicated! Do you long for a time when things were simpler and the pace of life was slower? How can you simplify your life in today’s fast-paced, complex world? Here are tips to help you simplify your life and regain peace of mind.
Cut Out Tasks and Activities
This may surprise you, but you cannot do it all! That’s a fallacy that some of us grew up with. We’ve been told we can do it all and have it all. The reality is we have limited time and energy.
That means we need to be able to say “no” to the unimportant (or less important) activities. What do you need to say “no” to? What unimportant activities crowd your schedule? Do you really need to be involved in four professional organizations or networking groups? Can you cut out one or two?
Do you have a hard time saying “no” to others? Who do you need to say “no” to? Maybe it’s time to say “no” the next time the PTA President asks to you help with your child’s school fundraiser.
We all have a lot to do, but keep in mind that you don’t have to be the one to do it all. Share the load. In two-career families women still take on the primary responsibility for home and child care. Studies show that women do 75% of household chores – even when they hold jobs outside the home. Can your spouse or children take on more responsibility at home? Can you delegate more tasks to your assistant at work?
Also consider hiring out the job. Your time is valuable! By hiring a housekeeper or gardener you can spend more quality time with your family. One of the best things I did when I was working and going to school was to hire a housekeeper. It was well worth the money!
By consolidating activities we can maximize our time. Here are some examples:
- Consolidate errands. Stop off at the dry cleaners and post office on your way home from work. That saves driving time (and gas!).
- Cook in large quantities and freeze ahead. This saves time and hassle at the end of a work day. You can just pull something out of the freezer.
- Shop over the Internet. This saves time shopping and standing in long lines.
No matter what your circumstances you should be able to apply at least one of these tips. Start making changes now by cutting out activities, saying “no”, delegating, hiring, or consolidating activities. As you implement these changes, you’ll gain greater balance and peace of mind.
What tips for simplifying your life can you share with other readers?
Are you living a life you love? Having a personal vision is critical to having the life you want! Your personal vision is your reason for being; it’s why you’re here on this earth. Your vision expresses your personal sense of purpose and meaning in life. It includes the qualities you’d like to have and what you’d like to contribute to the world. It should inspire and motivate you to be the best that you can be.
Having a personal vision is critical to having the life and career that you want. If you don’t create your vision, it will be determined for you by your circumstances and by other people. Having a defined vision helps you live your life on purpose rather than by chance.
How do you create your personal vision statement? Set aside some quiet time for yourself. Find a place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted. Allow yourself at least an hour or so. Get comfortable and relaxed. Prepare to be open and explore your values and vision. Your mission comes from deep inside you, so listen to your heart’s desire. Answer the following questions thoughtfully.
- What would I most like to have in my life?
- What are my greatest moments of happiness and fulfillment?
- What qualities and characteristics are most important to me?
- What activities in my personal life are most fulfilling?
- What activities in my professional life are most fulfilling?
- What do I want to accomplish in my lifetime?
- If I had unlimited time and resources, what would I do?
- What talents and skills do I have?
- How can I best contribute to others?
- What legacy do I want to leave?
Once you’ve answered these questions, look for common themes. Having done this preliminary work, then answer the question, “What is my personal vision?” Write whatever comes to mind. This becomes your first draft of your personal vision statement. Review and refine it until you feel comfortable with it. The format is up to you. It can be one page (or two or three), one paragraph, or one sentence. As long as it is meaningful to you, that’s all that matters.
Once it’s written, refer to it often. You might even memorize it, so that it becomes ingrained in you. Your personal vision becomes your personal constitution. Use it to guide your day-to-day decisions and actions. By doing so, you’ll find that you’ll move closer and closer to achieving your vision. Then when you reach the end of your life, you can look back with peace and satisfaction knowing you have achieved your mission in life!